Backwoods Pondfest 2010
Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward
Progression amid a community begins with the pure intents of individuals looking to not only improve, but also provoke and encourage the beauty of their own backyard.
It seems every few years, in the North Country (Upstate New York), there is an artistic brain-drain, musically speaking. Once a performer finds his creative niche, it’s a hop, skip, and jump over Lake Champlain to a bigger fishbowl within the artistic haven of Burlington, Vermont. But, sometimes bigger doesn’t mean better.
And yet, in its fourth year, Backwoods Pondfest once again asserts its stronghold in the joyous minds of those in search of something to celebrate, something to be proud of and call their own.
Corralling local, regional, and national acts, Pondfest takes place on Sept. 10 and 11 at the Twin Ponds Campground in Peru, New York (amid the Adirondack Mountains). Weekend passes are $60, with Saturday-only tickets at $40. Weekend passes purchased at the gate will be $75.
Passes can be purchased online (www.BackwoodsPondfest.com) or at the Chuck Wagon and Great Adirondack Soup Co. in Plattsburgh, 20 Main Tavern (AuSable Forks), The Waterhole (Saranac Lake), Pasquale’s Pizzeria (Peru), and the Backwoods Promotions office (23 Durkee St., Suite A, Plattsburgh).
$5 will be taken off the admission price if one donates a canned good. All donations this year will be given to the Northern Adirondack Food Shelf.
“The North Country needs a festival like this because everywhere else in the country these shows are going on but not in our area, for the most part,” said Lowell Wurster, festival co-owner and percussionist of host band Lucid. “In a small community with not a lot of original music, and a high concentration of cover bands, it’s something that needs to happen.
“I always want the scene to grow. I want it to grow so big that music is bursting out of our ears. I want bands on every street corner, in every bar and restaurant, every business and home. Music soothes the soul and makes people forget about the anger and tension in their everyday life.”
Started in 2007 by Katie and Liz Bazzano, the gathering soon blossomed from a local shindig to a regional spectacle, with attendees making the trek from Maryland, North Carolina, California, and beyond. With Liz taking a step back from the picture after the inaugural year, Katie, along with Wurster and Chris Boire, have taken the reigns and steered the event into innumerable avenues of possibility.
“The intent on starting it was to bring live outdoor music to the area. It has evolved into giving back to the community,” Katie Bazzano said. “The last three years we have donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Traumatic Brain Injury Center at SUNY Plattsburgh.”
“Now that the Mayor’s Cup (Plattsburgh) is just a few local bands, there isn’t other ways for anyone in the area to see great national and regional bands,” said Boire. “There is limited nice weather, so we’d like to squeeze in as many outside events as possible.”
Tossing in every conceivable genre into one colossal stew, the line-up includes reggae legends John Brown’s Body, hip-hop guru Charli 2na of Jurassic 5, jazz-funk fusionists Garaj Mahal, jam-rock torchbearers Brothers Past, roots-rock rebels Spiritual Rex, and bluegrass outlaws Hot Day at the Zoo among others.
Rounding out the festivities, Lucid, Twiddle, Mr. Charlie and Blues For Breakfast. Shameless Strangers, and Sinecure will be showcasing the North Country flare amid two days of non-stop gyration.
“For first timers, it’s nothing but fun. A great place with great people,” Wurster said. “I do security at bigger festivals and at a bigger festival you are going to have bigger problems. At Pondfest you don’t have those problems. You don’t have to worry about leaving your stuff at the campsite because no one is going to steal your belongings.
“You don’t have to worry about all those big bad things you hear about at other festivals. It’s just a weekend to escape your day-to-day life and have a good time for once. Not a ‘Friday out’ good time, but a real good time.”
|6:00||Roots of Creation|
|11:15||John Brown’s Body|
|1:15||Tim Herron Corporation|
|2:30||Blues for Breakfast|
|3:45||Hot Day at the Zoo|
|10:30||Chali 2na with House of Vibe & special guest Deploi|